An angel touched me, and he said to me,
“The journey, pilgrim, is too great for thee;
But rise and eat and drink;
Thy food is here,
Thy Bread of Life,
Thy cruse of Water clear,
Drawn from the brook that doth as yesterday
Flow by the way.
“And thou shalt go in strength of that pure food
Made thine by virtue of the sacred Rood,
Unto the Mount of God,
Where thy Lord’s face
Shall shine on thee,
On thee in thy low place,
Down at His feet, who was thy Strength and Stay
Through all the way.”
O Cake of Bread, baken on coals of fire –
Sharp fires of pain;
O Water turned to Wine –
The word is true: this food is daily mine.
Then never, never can the journey be
Too great for me!
The Angel of the Lord came again the second time
But there were hours when I could not bear to hear the song of the mountaineer sung by the group of loving singers who so often sang to me, because I did not feel that I had attained, and I feared very much what is termed tongue-grace and paper-grace. All these letters are written from the lower slopes of the mountain...
I have told how it came to be a custom to share my pot of manna in the form of a short note… To turn over the leaves of such a notebook [journal] is like turning back the weeks and months and looking at past days again. This is what I find soon after the comforting assurance came, “Upon thy brier shall bloom a rose for others.”
1 Kings 19:7 – And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.
Is it not good and comforting to know that the angel of the Lord came again the second time? We never reach the place where we pass beyond the compassion of our God: His compassions fail not; they are new every morning, never tiring of us, always strong for our help.
There have been times for nearly all of us when we have felt the truth of the angel’s word, ‘The journey is too great for thee’ – but have we not always found the Bread of Life and the Water of Life ready for our sustenance? And in the strength of that meat we have gone on, and shall go on, even to the Mountain of God.
But the perplexing thing is that even after we have been comforted and strengthened we can feel quite weak and tired again, just as though we had never been fed on the blessed Cake of Bread, the Water turned to Wine. It is consoling to find that we are not alone there. That heavenly minded book, Revelations of Divine Love, which has opened to me more than ever during these months, is refreshingly candid. After the anchoress Julian of Norwich had seen the fifteen “Shewings” that had fair and steadily gladdened her heart, each following the other, she wrote:
“And at the end all was closed, and I saw no more. And soon I felt that I should live and languish; and anon my sickness came again: first in my head with a sound and din, and suddenly my whole body was fulfilled with sickness like it was before. And I was barren and as dry as if I never had comfort but little. And as a wretched creature I moaned and cried for feeling of my bodily pains and for failing of comfort, spirit and body.”
But her courteous Lord did not leave her; the words of solace follow a little later: Thou shalt not be overcome was said full clearly and full mightily, for assuredness and comfort against all tribulations that may come. He said not: Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be afflicted; but He said: Thou shalt not be overcome. God willeth that we take heed to these words, and that we be ever strong in sure trust, in weal and woe. For He loveth and enjoyeth us, and so willeth He that we love and enjoy Him and mightily trust in Him; and all shall be well.
Blessed be the patience of our Lord, our dear-worthy Redeemer. The angel of the Lord came again the second time!
Amy Carmichael, Rose from Brier, 71-73.